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The End of ‘Looking in at Iowa’ November 22, 2008

Posted by John in Uncategorized.
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For nearly a year I’ve enjoyed monitoring the Web for lesser-known (or not yet widely known) information tidbits of possible interest to Eastern Iowans and sharing those with readers of this blog. As a news referral blog, I haven’t written much from my own voice, but instead have let the sources speak for themselves through key excerpts, smaller photos, and links pointing back to the sources, which offered complete text and larger images.

Now, because of other important commitments, I’ve found that I need to stop tracking, skimming and posting information for Looking in at Iowa. I hope you have found this blog to be a useful and interesting complement for your regular consumption of Iowa news. And for those around the world who have found LIAI posts only from searches, I hope this blog helped you find the precise information you were looking for – or quickly pointed you to one of the best online sources for that information.

I’d like to thank readers for showing your interest in such an unconventional blog. Traffic for Looking in at Iowa greatly exceeded my expectations and reinforces my belief in the importance of what has been called link journalism. (Read more about link journalism from Jeff Jarvis, Scott Karp)

Please feel free to leave any final thoughts about this blog in a comment here or by sending me an e-mail. I am especially interested in learning what you liked and disliked, any favorite posts or subject areas you appreciated seeing here, or what ways Looking in at Iowa could have been better.

Thanks everyone!

Eastern Iowa student suspended after anti-Obama racist remark? Others’ talk of shotguns? November 19, 2008

Posted by John in Crime/Courts, Education, Political.
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Location of Letts, Iowa

Image via Wikipedia

From student e-mail excerpt, posted by Editor & Publisher:

“I’m not sure who to email on this, but there have been several derogatory things said about Obama in our school, and one of them got a student suspended. I go to a school in a little town called Letts, Iowa. We are pretty down home, country road farm kids out here. But never, in my 11 years at the school, have I ever heard the conversation take such a negative turn.

“The remark that the student was suspended for was this, “Well, it’s called the White House for a reason. We need to get that God damn N—– out of there.”

“There were other remarks, mostly by students who hunt. They were discussing how far a shotgun could shoot, and decided that they could get to a high enough vantage-point to shoot Obama from at least 2 miles away, without anyone ever knowing where the shot came from. ‘Another Kennedy’ they were saying.” …


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COLORADO: Semi-truck rolls over head, chest of Iowa City woman November 18, 2008

Posted by John in Accidents.
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From KJCT-TV8 (Grand Junction, Montrose, COLORADO):

The victim, 43 year old Bonnie Stevens from Iowa City, Iowa, was operating a pilot car for a 127 foot semi trailer that brought in a large piece of construction equipment used to bend large pipe. The operator of the semi tractor had released the air brakes on the trailer without setting the brakes on the tractor. …

The victim was standing between two of those sets of tires when the trailer started to roll. The victim tried to get out of the way and fell in the path of the tires. One set of the dual tires struck the victim in the head, chest, and right arm and shoulder area.

The victim was airlifted to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction in critical condition. …

Associated Press version of article here

Missing the trademark mane of Hawkeyes defensive tackle Mitch King? Well, there’s always this photo to help us remember November 17, 2008

Posted by John in Sports.
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Mitch King before brush cut

Mitch King before brush cut

From Associated Press via Baltimore Sun. Caption:

Iowa’s Mitch King puts his helmet on before an NCAA college football game against Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Related: Read more under Good Hair Day by The Gazette’s Marc Morehouse.

Iowa eighth-grade girl is model ‘social entrepreneur’ NYT columnist says November 16, 2008

Posted by John in Children.
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From New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof:

[T]he best proof that you don’t need a White House pass to accomplish change comes from youthful social entrepreneurs around the country. …

If your image of a philanthropist is a stout, gray geezer, then meet Talia Leman, an eighth grader in [Waukee] Iowa who loves soccer and swimming, and whose favorite subject is science. I’m supporting her for president in 2044.

When Talia was 10 years old, she saw television clips of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and decided to help. …

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PETA’s caged pig sculptures to be displayed ‘on a busy intersection’ by Cedar Rapids Fareway grocery store on Saturday November 15, 2008

Posted by John in Business.
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From PETA release (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals):

Caged ‘Pigs’ Force Lunchtime Crowd in Cedar Rapids to Face Factory-Farm Cruelty

To illustrate the immense suffering and routine cruelty that pigs endure before they are made into ham and bacon, two pig sculptures–confined to metal stalls just as pigs on factory farms are–will be displayed on a busy intersection in Cedar Rapids on Saturday. This display–part of PETA’s “Think Before You Eat” campaign–comes on the heels of PETA’s new undercover exposé of an Iowa pig farm that supplies Hormel. The investigation uncovered routine, intentional abuse: Investigators documented …

Where: Fareway Grocery Store, 4220 16th Ave. S.W., Cedar Rapids
When: Saturday, November 15, 12 noon


Variety: Meryl Streep to star in ‘Dewey'; Fact-based film about stray cat’s impact on town of Spencer, Iowa November 14, 2008

Posted by John in Uncategorized.
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From Variety:

Meryl Streep is purring over “Dewey,” a fact-based film about a stray cat’s impact on the town of Spencer, Iowa. The project has landed at New Line Cinema.

Streep is attached to star in the adaptation of the Vicki Myron book “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.” Streep intends to play the author, who works at the library and …

From October 5 Gazette article:

There already is talk of adapting the book into a movie, and Myron says she would love to see an actress like Meryl Streep , Jodie Foster or Helen Hunt play her role. …

Nebraska boy pulls toy metal badge (from Winterset) out of eye; Spaghetti feed to benefit this University Hospitals patient November 13, 2008

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From The Fremont Tribune (Nebraska):

“I was watching TV and I fell asleep. I started to wake up when I was falling out of bed and I hit my eye on the toy sheriff’s badge,” he says. [7-year-old] Dawson [Holverson] holds up the bronze-colored, metal badge that he got while visiting actor John Wayne’s birthplace in Iowa. …

In April, it started to detach again. That’s when he was referred to specialists in Iowa City, where his retina was re-attached via a laser procedure. … Dawson will need to return to Iowa on Tuesday for another checkup and on Dec. 16. …

Texas execution scheduled tomorrow for man who raped, murdered, robbed UNI grad November 12, 2008

Posted by John in Crime/Courts.
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Case details available from Texas Attorney General:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information about Denard Sha Manns, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2008. …

On November 19, 1998, Michelle Robson was found dead in a bathtub in her Killeen home. She had been shot five times with a .22 caliber gun. …

From Associated Press via Houston Chronicle:

On Thursday, Denard Manns, 42, faced execution for the 1998 fatal shooting of Michelle Robson, 26, at her apartment in Killeen. Robson, from Iowa, was a Fort Hood soldier living off the base. …

And from Utica, NY, Observer-Dispatch:

Man awaits execution of wife’s murderer

“She was sweet, passionate, caring … she was wonderful,” Clay Wellenstein of West Winfield said. “She was athletic, smart, had a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She was outgoing, very involved and active. She was social.” …

On Nov. 18, 1998, Wellenstein’s wife was sexually assaulted, robbed and shot five times with a .22-caliber, according to the Austin Chronicle newspaper. Manns took cash, credit cards and Michelle Wellenstein’s car. …

Front page Washington Post: More students taking ACT along with SAT November 12, 2008

Posted by John in Education.
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Related graphic, ACT vs. SAT, showing Iowa City-based ACT gains in Washington, DC, area while SAT numbers are flat.

From Washington Post:

Melissa Goldberg, 17, a senior at James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, took the ACT last month on the advice of her guidance counselor and her parents, who reminded her that the ACT had come up in all of her college visits. …

“We’re growing everywhere, but it’s especially dramatic down the East Coast,” said Jon Erickson, vice president for educational services at ACT. …

To an extent, the recent popularity of ACT reflects backlash against changes to the SAT. The College Board expanded the exam from two sections to three in 2005. The result was a longer test that some students did not care to take twice. …

Here’s a PDF of today’s front page of the Washington Post. You’ll find the story in lower left part of page.

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